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Odds taken from Bet365.
Pick: Los Angeles FC to win. (+333)
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The bookmakers have Columbus Crew as heavy favorites heading into this tie. On the face of it, this isn’t surprising as LA Galaxy are in 13th place in the Western Conference standings and are the away side.
Still, the bookmakers don’t seem to have factored in LA Galaxy’s recent resurgence and the reasons behind the recent resurgence. They also don’t seem to have considered Columbus Crew’s patchy form in recent weeks. Both teams have been a bit unlucky this season, albeit for different reasons.
LA Galaxy have got extremely valuable odds heading into this tie, and Columbus Crew haven’t had the results this season to be a safe bet for this tie. LA Galaxy are certainly worth the punt in this tie.
There aren’t many teams with a good head-to-head record against the LA Galaxy in the league, but Columbus Crew are one of the sides with a respectable one. Columbus have won nine, drawn eight, and lost 11 of their matches against the five-time MLS champions.
The two sides haven’t faced each other in a long time. Their last meeting was almost four years back. Columbus Crew won that match 3-1 and were well worth the three points. Gyasi Zardes gave them a 27th-minute lead before Federico Higuain made it 2-0 in the 53rd minute. Hector Jimenez essentially wrapped up the victory in the 66th minute by making it 3-0 for the home side. Daniel Steres got a consolation goal in the 87th minute for LA Galaxy.
Columbus Crew eased off after going 2-0 up in the game, which is why they had a slightly lower share of possession (47%). Ultimately, this game will have little bearing on what happens in the midweek game.
Columbus Crew drew 2-2 to Orlando City over the weekend after conceding late. It was a frustrating result for Columbus Crew, who were the better side for most of the game, as was expected of them.
Crew had a comfortable first half thanks to goals from Darlington Nagbe (39’) and Jacen Russell-Rowe (45+2’). However, two lapses of concentration in the second half were enough to deny them all three points on the day. The first lapse came four minutes into the second-half, as Ercan Kara made it 2-1. Duncan Maguire’s strike two minutes into second-half stoppage time ensured that Orlando City left with something.
Crew just couldn’t find the target in the second half. They had plenty of chances to kill the game but squandered them. They took 22 shots in the game, with seven on target.
Only Atlanta United have scored as many as Columbus Crew’s 21 goals in the Eastern Conference, and they’ve played one game more than the Crew. Columbus Crew also have the best-expected goal difference per 90 in the league, along with New York Red Bulls, which is very impressive.
This metric suggests that their underlying numbers are the best of any team per 90 minutes. According to the underlying data, they should’ve just conceded 12 goals so far this season but have conceded two more. If we go by their last match, there might be worries that they’re not killing teams off, but the attack doesn’t seem to be the issue. They’re scoring enough but conceding cheap goals despite dominating games.
This seems to be a concentration issue, as opposed to an issue in personnel or tactics. They shouldn't have much trouble climbing the table if they can rectify this in the coming matches.
LA Galaxy got their second win of the league season and second in a row in all competitions with a 2-1 victory over San Jose. San Jose were in good form heading into this tie, so this was a massive result under the circumstances.
The first half was fairly dull, but the second half didn’t disappoint. Martin Caceres got things kicking off with a 60th-minute strike before Dejan Joveljic made it 2-0 one minute into the 90. San Jose got one back just three minutes after Joveljic’s strike, but it came too late.
LA Galaxy were fully deserving of the three points. They had 57% of the possession and took 18 shots to San Jose’s eight. LA Galaxy looked like their usual selves, and it’ll be interesting to see if this win leads to something bigger. They’ve been a bit unlucky with injuries this season, but this was more like it.
Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez’s return has boosted the LA Galaxy significantly. His injury earlier in the season derailed them more than anyone could’ve expected. This team has many former European stars like Douglas Costa, Riqui Puig, and Martin Caceres. Still, Hernadez is the most important player – not just because of his goal-scoring ability but his leadership qualities. He’s not shown the goalscoring form of previous seasons yet but the team looks a lot more cohesive since his return.
When he wasn’t on the pitch, there was a lot of indiscipline at the club. Since his return from injury, LA Galaxy look like a totally different team. They’re still playing catch up, which is why they’ve lost some games, but there’s a competitive spirit in the squad again, which was displayed in their match against San Jose last week.
When they’re in full flow, they’re good enough to give the likes of LAFC a difficult game. Columbus Crew will be a tough test, but LA Galaxy are more than capable of getting a result against them when all their players are fit and firing, which has been the case in recent weeks.
It could be a real turning point for their season if they win this match. Like Columbus Crew, they have a game to spare. If they win this tie, they’ll suddenly move to ninth place, showing how quickly things can change in the MLS.
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With an interest in strategy and mathematics, applying that to sports writing was the natural progression. A writer at night and the founder of a gaming company, Nikhil’s previous experience includes working with ESPN for five years. His specialization includes soccer, basketball, tennis, and esports betting. Email: [email protected]More info on Nikhil Kalro
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